NEW YORK - We're just weeks away from the start of in-person school and kids on Staten Island have a lot of questions, including: "What kind of changes will there be for students in September?"
Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter and Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Danny Stephens held a roundtable at New Dorp High School Tuesday. The goal was to address concerns and speak directly to students, though questions from the media were denied. As the delta variant remains a big threat coming into the school year, masks must be on, social distancing will be in place, and there will be two air purifiers in every classroom, among other safety measures.
"The most important thing we can do for all of you is to make sure we get you back in school and back in school safely," Porter told the students.
"Even though we have seen the rise of the delta variant and we've seen it's more transmissible, vaccines, and the Pfizer vaccine especially, do provide protection against all the other variants," Stephens said.
New Dorp High School is also a Summer Rising vaccination site, part of the DOE's Vax to School campaign. Porter is making a plea to all eligible students to get a COVID-19 vaccine as we learn of nearly 94,000 reported new pediatric COVID-19 cases across the country.
Dior Dorsey, 16, came by for her shot.
"Honestly, I wanted to get it for a while," Dorsey said. "I just wanted to do everything I can to be a part of the solution instead of the problem."
About 51% of children ages 12 to 17 in the city are vaccinated, which is about 263,000 kids, according to the DOE's latest numbers. The DOE said that it is making progress but hopes to see that number rise significantly over the coming weeks.
All New Yorkers are eligible to request and receive at-home vaccination. Register for an appointment either online at nyc.gov/homevaccine or by calling 877-829-4692.